2017 Annual Conference Confirmed Speakers

Conference Chair

Martijn Gilbert FCILT - Chief Executive Officer, Reading Buses

Martijn started his career with London Underground in their schedules department in 2000. He soon moved into bus operations working for independent operators in Surrey, including a period running his own company – Thames Bus. He joined Arriva in 2007 following its purchase of TGM group but soon moved into their rail division. A short secondment to Arriva’s Olympic Games operations in the summer of 2012 gave Martijn a taste for buses again. After 5 years in rail he moved to Arriva’s UK bus division to take on the transformation of a new acquisition in West Yorkshire which he re-launched under the Yorkshire Tiger brand. 

After nearly 8 years with Arriva plc, Martijn joined Reading Buses as CEO in November 2014 to take on the challenge of continuing its development to meet the transport challenges of the growing economy of Reading. 

Martijn has been a member of CILT since 2008 and has served on the Wales National Committee and the Young Professionals Committee since 2010.  He also won the ‘Young Manager of the Year’ award at the CILT Wales National Transport Awards in 2009 and was made a Fellow in 2014.  Martijn now lives in Reading and outside of work his interests include travelling, transport, mountain biking and walking, music and motorsport.

Neil Ashworth FCILT - Chief Executive Officer, Collect+

Neil joined Collect+, the UK’s largest independent store based parcel network as CEO in early 2013 having been at the forefront of digital developments in retail for over 15 years and has been described as an innovator in multichannel retail and fulfilment solutions.

Before joining Collect+, Neil worked as a consultant and business advisor to several blue-chip UK retailers, following a period at Tesco, where he was as a leading member of the small team that designed and launched the Tesco Direct business and was a member of the tesco.com board.  Prior to Tesco, Neil held senior positions at Woolworths, Hallmark Cards and CWS Ltd. 

Neil is the immediate past Chairman of CILT(UK). He is a member of the Advisory Board at Warwick University Professional and Executive Programme faculty and on the Retail and Retail Marketing Masters Programmes at Cranfield University School of Management. He is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, a Visiting Lecturer at Warwick University (WMG) and is Professor of Operations Management and Information Systems at Nottingham University Business School.

As a Transaid Ambassador, Neil has provided support to the charity in a number of ventures, and has also participated in cycle rides to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels He is a member of the Engineering and Logistics Staff Corps an advisory group of business leaders within the British military, holding the rank of Major

Beverley Bell FCILT - Senior Traffic Commissioner, Great Britain

Beverley Bell is the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain and Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England.

She was born in Nigeria and educated at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School in Crosby after which she read law at Liverpool University. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1985 and established her own practice in 1994, specialising in criminal and transport law. 

She was appointed Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England in 2000, becoming the first female commissioner. In 2012, she was appointed as Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain. This is a statutory role with responsibility for giving guidance and directions on a range of matters to commissioners, in consultation with stakeholders.

She is the current President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) UK, having previously served as a Vice President. She is a fellow of the CILT and the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE). She is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen. 

She is also a Governor at Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School.

Bethany Fovargue MILT - Operations Manager, NOVUS

Bethany joined NOVUS, part of the CILT family, in early 2017, as Operations Manager. NOVUS aims to provide the UK’s leading graduate alumni for supply chain professionals, working with leading companies and the University of Huddersfield and Aston University to create work-ready graduates for management roles. As Operations Manager, Bethany is responsible for maintaining links between students, sponsors and universities, ensuring that the promotion of NOVUS is inspiring and that the provided programme of mentoring, placements and work experience is both efficient and effective.

After six years with Data Interchange, a leading provider of electronic data interchange and eBusiness integration, Bethany has combined her passion for education, as a former teacher, with her love of the logistics profession, in NOVUS, believing that logistics should be a preferred profession of choice.  A member of CILT since 2014, chairing the Peterborough and Cambridge group, Bethany has been a passionate advocate of young professionals in logistics, as well as increasing diversity in the profession.  Her work with Women in Logistics won Bethany the 2015 Multimodal “Woman of the Year” award, building on previous success as runner up for “Rising Star” in the 2014 Women in Logistics awards. 


Professor Alan McKinnon FCILT

Alan McKinnon is Professor of Logistics in the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. He was founder and director of the Logistics Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh until January 2012 and is now a professor emeritus of this university. He has held visiting professorships in China, Malaysia, Sweden, South Africa and the UK.  A graduate of the universities of Aberdeen, British Columbia and London, he has been researching and teaching in freight transport / logistics for over 35 years and has published extensively in journals and books on many different aspects of the subject.  

Professor McKinnon has been an adviser to several governments, parliamentary committees and international organisations, including the OECD, the World Bank, the United Nations and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Logistics and Supply Chain Council and is currently a member of its Council on the Future of Mobility.  He was a member of the European Commission’s High Level Group on Logistics, and, until recently, was chairman of the Transport Advisory Group of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme.  

In addition to his public sector work, Professor McKinnon has been a consultant to numerous companies and trade associations. He is a Chartered Fellow of the CILT and a recipient of its highest distinction, the Sir Robert Lawrence Award.  


Professor Richard Wilding OBE FCILT - Professor of Supply Chain Strategy, Cranfield University

Richard has been a member of the Institute since 1992 and a Board member since 2011. He is also Chair (Full Professor) in Supply Chain Strategy at the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Cranfield School of Management UK. 

Richard joined Cranfield School of Management in 1998 and works with European and International companies on Logistics and Supply Chain projects in all sectors.
He was made OBE in 2013 for services to Business, recognising his outstanding achievements in logistics and supply chain management.

Lucy Holland - Logistics Project Support Manager, Sainsbury's

Lucy was part of the first intake of students onto the NOVUS Scheme in 2013 whilst studying at the University of Huddersfield towards a degree in Transport and Logistics Management. As part of the degree course Lucy undertook a one year logistics placement with Sainsbury's where she spent six months in the role of Team Manager in depot, managing and leading a team.  Lucy then spent six months working within the Logistics Implementation Team on the set up of an automated High Bay operation into a 1 million square foot new build depot. Lucy then returned to University to complete her final year whilst continuing to work with Sainsbury’s on a part time basis.  Lucy graduated in 2017 at which time she became a full time Project Support Manager within the Logistics Implementation Team.


Robin Proctor FCILT

Robin is always keen to share his supply chain and business experience, leading through coaching others to speak 'the language of profit', drive innovation, motivate colleagues and anticipate the future needs of their customers.

A FTSE 100 Exec Committee member for over 10 years he will be responsible for the Supply Chain at the UKs biggest building materials Group Travis Perkins plc until 31st December 2016.  The Groups 25,000 colleagues operate 18 trade retail and online businesses including Wickes, Toolstation and Travis Perkins, supplying 150,000 products through 2000 branches and 3700 commercial vehicles.

Travis Perkins have innovated and invested significantly in their supply chain, resulting in a sector leading, flexible multi-channel platform.

A shopkeeper at heart, his career started as a trainee in Sainsbury’s, after completing a Marketing degree he then joined the entrepreneurial team at 'Iceland' to improve their ordering systems.  While supporting the merger of Iceland and Booker he studied at Cranfield for his MSc in Supply Chain Management subsequently joining the Executive Committee of MFI Group maartin supporting the sell-off of MFI and the development of Howden Joinery business.

Robin is passionate about colleague development, an active member of the Cranfield university advisory board and one of the founding members of the Novus Trust.

Jim Spittle FCILT - Chairman, GS1 UK

Jim has extensive experience in retailing, manufacturing and supply chain transformation with a detailed understanding of the latest developments in international retail and supply chains with a successful track record in developing and implementing significant change and economic value as an executive in blue chip companies (DSGI, Whitbread, Kingfisher, Tesco stores).  He is an Advisory Board Member and External Examiner (MSc Supply Chain and Logistics, at Cranfield University)

He contributes to leading-edge business and supply chain thinking and innovation and to international conferences, seminars and workshops, as chairman, speaker and participant. Experience as consultant, chairman, executive and non-executive, in the private and public sectors, for/not for profit/third sector and start up enterprises.

Professor Edward Sweeney FCILT - Director of Aston Logistics & Systems Institute

Professor Ed Sweeney is Director of the Aston Logistics & Systems Institute at Aston University in Birmingham.  In that capacity he leads a multidisciplinary team with expertise in a wide range of logistics and supply chain domains and with on strong focus on working collaboratively with business.  Prior to joining Aston in early 2014, Ed was Director of the National Institute for Transport and Logistics (NITL) in Dublin.  NITL was established by the Irish Government in the late 1990s as Ireland’s centre of excellence in transport, logistics and supply chain management.  Ed has also held full-time academic roles at the University of Warwick and the University of Technology, Malaysia (UTM).  

As an educator and advisor, he has worked with leading firms in many sectors including automotive, life sciences, FMCG and 3PL.  Ed’s research has been widely published and he sits on the editorial boards of several leading international logistics journals.  He has worked and lectured in over 50 countries and is a past winner of the CILT(UK) James Cooper Memorial Cup and the CILT(Ireland) “Member of the Year” award. 

Ed was elected chair of the CILT’s Logistics Research Network (LRN) by his peers in 2015 and has been a member of the CILT West Midlands Regional Committee since his arrival at Aston.

Andy Parsons - Director, AutoLogic Systems Limited

Andy Parsons is a Director at the supply chain software specialists AutoLogic Systems Ltd.  He has been with the company for over 20 years and in that time has introduced the latest modelling platforms that enable customers to plan, test and demonstrate new equipment and facilities.  His technological foresight and relationship management has been instrumental in the successful growth and development of the company. 

Previous to AutoLogic Systems, Andy was responsible for operating companies at Unilever.

Away from work, Andy is a keen cricketer, rugby player and general sports fan.


Shulah Jones MA DipM MCIM FCIM Chartered Marketer, Head of Business Strategy and Project Director, Port Academy Liverpool

Having spent two decades working within the Liverpool City Region in various marketing and business development roles, Shulah joined Hugh Baird College in 2013 to develop a range of strategic opportunities for business growth. Taking the lead from the City Region’s key transformational project SuperPORT this was seized as the catalyst for the creation of Port Academy Liverpool.

A past student of the University of Liverpool, Shulah spent time in Denmark in the early 90’s researching Bronze Age maritime society and ship technology before embarking on a career that took her from National Museums Liverpool to Port Academy Liverpool. From heritage roles her career moved to corporate governance and project management and several roles in Marketing and Public Relations followed including Campaigns Manager at The Mersey Partnership and Head of Marketing at Oldham Council.

Shulah is the strategic lead on Port Academy Liverpool and has conceived and grown the offer on behalf of the College and its’ maritime partners. She also sits on the NW Regional Board of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), is an active member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing as well as being involved in many local and regional networks. 

Martin Elliott FCILT, Solutions Manager, Logistex

Martin has 30 years’ design and project management experience working on major automation and storage system projects up to £75M.  His current role is designing the right warehousing and distribution solution for customers as well as supporting existing customers in providing enhancements to business changes.  He has experience of designing and implementing the development of an existing mail order business with a new bulk warehouse, sortation centre and new picking solution within the existing multi-level building to enable 50M orders per year to be processed.

Neil Griffiths FCILT, Divisional Director – Logistics, Arco

Neil joined Arco in 2008 bringing with him 17 years of experience within logistics and supply chain management.  With a career working for a number of high profile organisations, including Boots The Chemist and R S Components, Neil has been responsible for transport planning, export operations and running a highly automated distribution site.

Upon joining Arco Neil initially ran the Arco National Distribution Centre and carrier contracts, before taking additional responsibility for the Arco Clothing Centre and programme managing an extensive, business wide portfolio of projects.  Neil has recently completed an impressive £4m upgrade to the existing National Distribution Centre and is working on a 200k sq ft extension to the existing facility. 

Neil has attended an executive development programme at Cranfield business school.

Major-General Angus Fay FCILT - ACDS (Logistics Ops), MOD                             



Richard Potter - Director of Innovation, Sopra Steria

Richard advises business leaders in the UK and Europe on a range digital transformation challenges.  However, it is building innovative enterprises that is his real passion.  As well as leading Sopra Steria’s own global innovation programme, Richard works with customers helping them turn ideas into results.  Richard lives in the UK but travels extensively throughout Europe.


Tony O'Brien - Managing Director, Panasonic Systems and Solutions Europe   

Tony joined Panasonic in 2015 to create a new Business Division (Panasonic Systems Solutions Europe). This new division is intended to transform Panasonic’s Business to Business operations from an indirect device business to a complete end-to-end solutions provider.

Prior to joining Panasonic, Tony was the Sales and Marketing Director for Siemens Building Technologies for over 15 years. His international career includes many critical infrastructure assignments to countries as diverse as Australia and Lebanon. 

Combining his previous experience of software with Panasonic’s profound knowledge of hardware, his paper presents evidence that connected solutions which connect not only b2B but also btb2c will transform the way customers approach Logistics in the future.
Born in Dublin 1964, Tony’s early career was in Electronic Engineering mainly within the Professional Video market. His career progressed into business management and business excellence, where he also obtained an MBA from Nottingham Business School. Although mainly based outside the UK today, he continues to actively support the University as an Alumni Fellow.



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